CACFP Training

Provides information for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Operators on required and optional (elective) training, as well as additional training opportunities.

CDSS Bright Track Online Training 

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) offers CACFP and nutrition training, including annual mandatory training, prospective operator training, and optional (elective) training through the online platform, CDSS Bright Track.  There are over 50 online trainings available through Bright Track and 13 additional online trainings in development.  

Registration for Brighton Training 

Users will be required to create an account before registering for courses.  Before creating a user account and beginning the registration process, please view the Registration video or Quick Start Guide on the CDSS Bright Track web page (scroll to the bottom of the page).   

Contact the CDSS CACFP Training Team at for questions about the CDSS Bright Track platform or other CACFP training opportunities. 

CACFP Annual Mandatory Training
Prospective Operator Training
Optional (Elective) Training
In-person and Virtual Training
Additional Online Training Databases


Additional Bright Track Courses Coming Soon! 

Below is a list of additional online courses (by subject area) in development.  The CDSS will notify CACFP Operators once these courses are available on the CDSS Bright Track training platform.     


  • Scratch Cooking Skills
  • Milk Requirements

Administration and Operations 

  • Informal Procurement 
  • Vendor Management 
  • Purchasing Practices 
  • Hiring and Promoting Staff 
  • Improving Workplace Culture 
  • Effective Training Tips for Staff 
  • Importance of Health Equity 
  • Appeals and Hearing Officer Training 
  • Day Care Home Administration
  • Outside School Hours Recordkeeping
  • Emergency Shelters Recordkeeping

CACFP Annual Mandatory Training

The deadline to complete the 2022-23 CACFP Annual Mandatory Training (Bright Track course CDSS-110) was Friday, June 30, 2023.  The CDSS CACFP Branch will notify CACFP Operators when the 2023-24 CACFP Annual Mandatory training (course CDSS-110) is available.  

To verify that a certificate has been issued for a Bright Track course, log-in to CDSS Bright Track, access the My Account menu, and select the course to see if a certificate is available for download.  For assistance, please see the Bright Track Generating and Accessing a Certificate of Completion instructions.

Who must complete the annual mandatory training?

All CACFP Operators, including child and adult care centers, at-risk afterschool care centers, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations, must ensure that either the authorized representative, the program contact, or their designee, attends online CDSS Annual Mandatory Training.  Other staff at the agency may also take the CDSS Annual Mandatory Training.

New CACFP Operators who joined the CACFP in the current program year are not required to complete that current program year’s CACFP Annual Mandatory Training.  For example, CACFP Operators who joined the CACFP in the 2022–23 program year are not required to complete the 2022–23 CACFP Mandatory Annual Training.  However, those CACFP Operators will be required to complete the 2023–24 Mandatory Training.

Day care home providers and centers operating under a sponsoring organization are never required to complete the state agency-provided CACFP Annual Mandatory Training.

What is included in the annual mandatory training?

The CACFP Annual Mandatory Training provides a review of CACFP regulations and procedures to assist CACFP Operators with program integrity.  The training includes the six lessons below. CACFP Operators can only advance slides in each lesson after the content on each slide is complete to meet accessibility requirements.

  1. Civil Rights
  2. Performance Standards
  3. Food Service
  4. Recordkeeping
  5. Financial Management and Maintaining a Nonprofit Food Service Program
  6. Program Oversight and the Serious Deficiency Process

CACFP Operators must select the Mark Complete button at the bottom of the page after viewing each topic within a lesson and pass a 10-question lesson quiz by correctly answering at least eight questions in each lesson quiz.  Three attempts are provided to pass each lesson quiz.  If a lesson quiz is not passed after three attempts, CACFP Operators must complete a CDSS Bright Track Help Desk Training Support Form to request additional quiz attempts.  Bright Track Help Desk staff will notify CACFP Operators within one business day when additional quiz attempts are available.

After successfully completing the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training, CACFP Operators will receive a certificate of completion, accessible in the CDSS Bright Track My Account menu when the user is logged in to CDSS Bright Track.

The expected time to complete the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training is four hours. CACFP Operators are not required to complete the training in one session.  The training will resume at the last place the user was when they logged off.

How do CACFP Operators complete the training?

All CACFP Operators will complete the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training as an online course through the CDSS Bright Track training platform.  CACFP Operators who have a CDSS Bright Track account can log in and register for the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training (course CDSS-110) on the CDSS Bright Track home page.

CACFP Operators who do not have a CDSS Bright Track account must first create a user account before registering to complete the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training.  The CDSS Bright Track home page includes a How to Create a New User Account and Register for an Online Course video tutorial.  Written instructions on creating a user account and registering for an online course are also available in the CDSS Bright Track Quick Start Guide.

CACFP Operators will need to enter the following Access Code to register for the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training and all other courses available on the CDSS Bright Track platform: CACFP.

What if I am taking the training on behalf of more than one institution?

Key staff who are completing the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training on behalf of more than one institution must contact the CDSS CACFP Training Team at with the CNIPS IDs (five digits starting with zero; for example, 01234) of each CACFP institution.

The CDSS CACFP Training Team will update CDSS Bright Track user accounts to identify individuals who are taking the training on behalf of multiple CACFP institutions and ensure these CACFP institutions receive credit for completing the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training requirement.

Contact Information for Annual Mandatory Training

The CDSS Bright Track Help tab provides technical assistance on how to create a new user account, register for a course, retrieve a lost password, access certificates of completion, and navigate the CDSS Bright Track platform.  For additional assistance, CACFP Operators may submit technical assistance questions related to the training platform in the CDSS Bright Track Contact tab.  

For questions about the CACFP Annual Mandatory Training requirement, prospective CACFP Operator training, optional training, and in-person training opportunities, please contact the CDSS CACFP Training Team by email at

Please review the CDSS Training Requirements in the CACFP Bulletin for additional information regarding CACFP Annual Mandatory Training requirements.

Prospective Operator Training

If you are a prospective CACFP Operator and need information regarding required training, please contact your county CACFP Specialist.  A list of CACFP Specialists by county is available on the CDSS CACFP Contact List web page.

During the CACFP application process, county CACFP Specialists will require prospective CACFP Operators to complete a series of online trainings, depending on agency type.  These trainings are designed to instruct prospective CACFP Operators on the requirements needed to successfully operate the CACFP.  Prospective CACFP Operators must complete all training requirements prior to operating the CACFP and claiming meals for reimbursement.

Please review the CDSS Training Requirements in the CACFP Bulletin for additional information regarding Prospective CACFP Operator training.

CACFP Online Optional Training

There are many optional online trainings currently available through the CDSS Bright Track platform.  Topics include, but are not limited to the following topics:  Financial viability, recordkeeping and claims, budgets, menu planning, adding cultural foods to menus, special dietary needs, food allergies, family-style meal service, and much more! 

Users will be required to create an account before registering for courses.  Before creating a user account and beginning the registration process, please view the Registration video or Quick Start Guide on the CDSS Bright Track web page (scroll to the bottom of the page). 

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In-person and Virtual Training

CACFP Meal Pattern Crediting Academy


The CDSS hosts free in-person CACFP Meal Pattern Crediting Academy workshops in late summer and early fall each year.  These interactive workshops provide guidance to assist CACFP Operators to comply with the meal pattern requirements.  Participants learn how to use the electronic U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Buying Guide (FBG), USDA Crediting Handbook for the CACFP, and other resources to determine whether foods are creditable and how they credit to the meal patterns.  The workshop include hands-on activities to practice how to:

  • Use the FBG tools
  • Identify nutritious and delicious standardized recipes
  • Incorporate cultural foods and recipes into menus
  • Credit grains as ounce equivalents
  • Understand what documentation is required to demonstrate meal pattern compliance

Target Audience

The target audience is CACFP staff from child care centers, adult day care centers, at-risk afterschool programs, emergency shelters, and sponsoring organizations who are involved in planning, preparing, purchasing, serving or providing training for CACFP meals and snacks.


The CDSS will send an email to all CACFP Operators announcing the dates, locations, and registration instructions at least six weeks prior to the first workshop


Please contact the CDSS CACFP Training Team by email at with questions about the CACFP Meal Pattern Crediting Academy workshops. 


Other CDSS Online Training 

Feeding Infants in the CACFP

The CDSS Feeding Infants in the CACFP online course provides an overview of the infant meal pattern, developmental readiness signs for infants starting on solid foods, creditable foods for infants, benefits of breastfeeding, how to determine creditable infant formulas, and the documentation requirements for infant meals. 


Child Care Forums

Child Care Meal Quality (MQ) Forums

The Child Care MQ Forums are designed to assist early child care program food service staff with enhancing the quality of meals served to young children by highlighting healthy menu planning, food preparation, culinary skills, and kitchen safety.  All attendees will receive a variety of tools and resources that they can immediately use in their day care homes or child care centers.

Visit California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN) Child Care MQ Forums for the agendas and session descriptions for the introductory and advanced MQ forums, speakers, professional growth hours, and registration information.

Child Care Nutrition and Physical Activity (NPA) Forums

The Child Care NPA Forums highlight and demonstrate methods for integrating nutrition education, edible gardens, wellness policies, and physical activity into child care programs. Participants will learn ways to create learning environments that maximize opportunities for children to develop healthy eating habits and to move their bodies to learn.  These forums provide a unique platform where early childhood educators can express challenges and develop solutions toward supporting active living and healthy eating environments.

Visit the CPIN Child Care NPA Forums for the agenda, session descriptions, speakers, professional growth hours, and registration information.


CACFP Roundtable Conference

The annual CACFP Roundtable Conference provides the CACFP community with an opportunity for professional growth.  Sessions range from topics such as program operations and management, nutrition and eating environments, advocacy and outreach, and professional growth. 

National CACFP Sponsors Association Conference

The annual CACFP Sponsors Association Conference provides training opportunities on CACFP policy, administration, nutrition, meal pattern and much more.  The conference is targeted to educating professionals from child care centers, family day care home providers, sponsoring organizations, school districts, afterschool programs, head start programs, food banks, tribal nations, and State Agencies.

CAPPA and Resource & Referral Network Annual Joint Conference

The California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA) and the Child Care Resources and Referral Network Annual Joint Conference provides a networking and learning opportunity for professionals from the early care and education field including alternative payment programs, resource and referral programs, county welfare departments, and county offices of education.  Attendees typically are subsidy child care administrators, family caseworkers, resource and referral counselors and trainers, food program administrators, and child care advocates.

National Association for Family Child Care

The annual National Association for Family Child Care Conference provides an opportunity for family child care professionals to learn, network and collaborate. 

National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference

The National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference co-sponsored by the Food Research and Action Center and Feeding America and in cooperation with the National CACFP Forum, is targeted to anti-hunger and anti-poverty advocates, federal, state and local government officials, child advocates, representatives of food banks and food rescue organizations, sponsoring organizations, and nutrition and anti-obesity groups.

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Additional Online Training Databases

To find additional online training opportunities, visit:

  • National CACFP Sponsors Association Learning Center to locate free and low-cost online courses organized by specialty for CACFP Operators and early learning and care staff.
  • University of California’s Nutrition Policy Institute free training videos, in English and Spanish, for family child care home providers.  These short training videos can be used by educators, and align with evidence-based recommendations for what and how to feed infants and toddlers.


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.

Child and Adult Care Food Program Logo, hands holding a heart shaped apple

Contact Us

CDSS Child and Adult Care Food Program
744 P Street, MS 9-13-290
Sacramento, CA 95814

For more information or if you have any questions about CACFP Training, please contact the CDSS CACFP Branch Training Team by email at

CACFP Listservs

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